Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Headlines Tuesday 10th November 2009

Michael McGurk death tapes brought out into the open

AN UNPRECEDENTED special law will be introduced to the NSW Parliament today allowing the ICAC to listen to a secret tape recorded by murdered Sydney businessman Michael McGurk alleging corruption in the Government ranks.

Were Signs Ignored?
U.S. intelligence officials deny claims that they sat on information about the Fort Hood shooting suspect

Police forced their way into a home and discovered the bodies of a man and a woman and a critically injured child beside them after neighbours reported hearing a man's screams / Daniel Shaw

Rudd spends $454m on advice
RUDD Government spends $454 million on consultants in a year. - it should come from his salary - ed

Smoking gun aimed at teenagers
CHILDREN under 18 would be treated like criminals and face fines of up to $5500 for smoking, under a proposed plan.

GOP Rep Got Obama Treatment
White House spent weeks courting the only GOP congressman to vote yes on House health care reform bill

High Court Rejects D.C. Sniper's Plea
URGENT: Supreme Court has refuses to block tomorrow's execution of sniper mastermind John Allen Muhammad

Student suspended for cancer head shave
A SCHOOL has suspended a teen for shaving her head to raise money for cancer research.

Media heir's job rescued by Daddy
KERRY Stokes has been forced to save his son Ryan's place on the Seven Network board.

Former Labor premiers show solidarity in supporting Rees

THESE are the men on whom embattled Premier Nathan Rees is staking his future. - Rees knows enough to destroy their prospects forever, possibly sending them all to jail. -ed.

PM apologises over condolence letter
BRITISH Prime Minister Gordon Brown has apologised to the mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan after she accused him of disrespect in a sloppily-written letter of condolence, his office said.

White House Leans Toward Afghanistan Middle Ground
EXCLUSIVE: Plan considered would send more than 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, officials say

Koreas Exchange Fire in Naval Clash
South Korean warship shoots at North Korean navy ship as it passes disputed western sea border; North fires back
=== Journalists Corner ===

America's health care bill!
Bret Baier and Team Washington have late breaking reports.
Plus, get insight and analysis from the Beltway and beyond.

The Price of Reform
What is the bottom line for you and your family? Neil gets real answers on health care!
Exclusive: Carrie Prejean
From getting dumped to dealing with Trump, Carrie on her explosive book hitting the stands.
Legal Lingo!
Will the language used in the health care bill cripple doctors when it comes to treating parents?
=== Comments ===
Lightweight Irish bricks in a Wall of symbolism

Piers Akerman
IT’S tragic that the best way the world could mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall was a concert by lightweight Irish rock band U2. - Sharp and brilliant Piers, I was uncomfortable with the treatment of the anniversary, but I hadn’t put my finger on why. Someone had noted that Obama seemed to be playing down the celebrations, possibly because they paint President Bush senior in a much better light (Obama, being a Democrat is from the party that endorsed communism). Freedom lost a friend in the last US election. Still, I console myself they didn’t book the act Peter Garret. Or Dixie Chicks. - ed.
I was actually in Germany when the dam thing came down and had the rare pleasure of being expelled from East Germany. However, the thing that got me was not the wall coming down but rather the train trip between Western Germany and Berlin. Berlin was deep in East German territory and one had to traverse it to get into Berlin. That little trip destroyed the last notion in me that the left was a force for good in the world. While going through West Germany I could see factory after factory, cars, houses ... you name it - Going through East Germany all I could see was field after field. Game, set and match.

I lost my respect for the communists in year 10, 1982, when my geography teacher tried to justify the absurd position communists had placed themselves in with their wholesale destruction of living places in favor of poverty. She even went so far as to say poor people were happier. Hard workers in factories had lead more meaningful lives and commercialization was the root cause of unhappiness and atheism .. I was an atheist and held such platitudes as being self serving religious garbage. Since then, I have become a Christian, and feel such things are worse, “stuff and nonesense” as James Branch Cabell might have said. - ed.
Australia is going down the shit hole because of cruddy and his band of merry wankers and you come up with a story about U2.
They only made one good song and then became as immaterial as a dose of methane.
The media is too busy telling us what is right and what is wrong. Australians need to learn to listen to their heart and have the courage to stand up for what is right. That is what made the ANZACS so wonderful, courage in the face of adversity. We need to remember that strength and go back to the days of telling the bully boys to stick it, irregardless of the consequences.

grumpy of casino
Grumpy, Australia is suffering because of Rudd, but she is still Australia. She has always been greater than her worst, and always will be. Both my grandads were ANZACS and there is a gloss over that image too. I love Australia, and thank the ANZACS and those that followed for their sacrifice. On Rememberance Day I will post a link to my cover of ”And the band played Waltzing Matilda” not because I despise war or gallantry, but to remember the sacrifice I wish didn’t have to be made, but which has to be made.
There were few ways of celebrating this event which would be meaningful and not disendorse Obama or Rudd. But these celebrations are not about them, or theirs. - ed.

Politics and the Fort Hood Mass Murder
By Bill O'Reilly
It took only hours, ladies and gentlemen, for the far-left loons to begin politicizing the mass murder in Texas. Rather than blaming the suspect, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the media seems to believe Hasan's vile crimes were caused by public policy.

The New York Times headline: "Told of War Horror, Gunman Feared Deployment." The article says the attacker didn't want to go to Afghanistan, so he killed 13 people. Does that make any sense to you?

The Washington Post headline: "Fort Hood Has Felt the Strain of Repeated Deployments." Again, the newspaper bringing up American foreign policy in conjunction with Hasan's mass murder.

Perhaps the zaniest thing said was courtesy of Dr. Phil:


DR. PHIL: We're dealing with a very different kind of war here, and we know that there is a tremendous degree of stress with this war. And I think the military will tell you that it's a new animal and nobody knows exactly what to do with it. I think he had maybe seen the problems that some of these soldiers were experiencing when they come back to try to reintegrate into society, and maybe the fear got him and he just snapped.


The problem with Phil's analysis is the Afghan war is not nearly as intense, casualty-wise, as most other wars. In eight years, 640 Americans have been killed in action there. Maybe Major Hasan is a coward, but that would not explain murdering 13 innocent people.

Newsweek magazine has a very extreme take on the story as well. Writer Andrew Bass says, "What if Thursday's atrocious slaughter at Fort Hood only signals that the worst is yet to come? That the two wars currently being waged are taking a psychological toll on the soldiers is no surprise." Unbelievably stupid and insulting to the military.

Hasan has not served in any war. The guy killed people for absolutely no reason. Somebody tell Newsweek.

We all know the far left has a problem with personal responsibility. It's always somebody else's fault. As Flip Wilson used to say, "The devil made me do it."

You may remember when late-term abortion Dr. George Tiller was assassinated, the media blamed me for reporting on Tiller's gruesome activities. The left-wing media barely mentioned the assassin's name. It was all an attempt to marginalize anyone opposing late-term abortions.

Now the far-left loons are using the murders at Fort Hood to raise questions about Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Talking Points" believes media that use tragedy to ram home political points are despicable. That should never happen. This Hasan should be condemned all day long. That's the story. The guy is either a Muslim terrorist or a crazy person. That's it. Those are the choices. Hasan's computer should tell authorities if this rampage was planned well in advance. If so, he's a terrorist. If not, he's a nut.
Tim Blair
Enviropath Bill McKibben ticks the boxes:

Demented end-of-species, end-of-world claims: tick
Non-blinking stare of the Holy Believer: tick
Three layers of clothing due to the, er, heat: tick

UPDATE. Neck-tattooed Gaia jitterbug Anna Keenan reflects on her climate fast:
I feel it is the most sane action that I have ever undertaken.
She might be right.

UPDATE II. Climate change starvation is already passé. The latest stunt? Running to raise awareness of climate change.
Tim Blair
Mass-murderer Major Nidal Hasan has thus far been diagnosed as suffering from:

• Post-traumatic stress disorder
• Pre-traumatic stress disorder
• Post-traumatic stress disorder by proxy
• Prospective traumatic stress disorder
• Compassion fatigue
And …
• Vicarious trauma

Now Time magazine offers the latest medical opinion, also prior to Hasan offering a single word of explanation himself ("Allahu akbar” evidently doesn’t count). He’s suffering from:

• Secondary trauma

UPDATE. Hasan lately found an outlet for all that stress and trauma. Kind of like another bunch of guys did back in 2001 …

UPDATE II. Oh, look; Anne Davies is waking up. Apparently “new details” have emerged linking Hasan to some form of religion. Probably he caught it off a traumatised soldier.

UPDATE III. US ABC News reports:
U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda, two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News.

According to the officials, the Army was informed of Hasan’s contact, but it is unclear what, if anything, the Army did in response.
Via Kate, who writes: “That sound you hear in the distance is the mainstream media changing gears from ‘Hasan The Hapless Victim’ to finger pointing at the failure of those within the Obama administration to ‘connect the dots’ ... oh, wait ...”
Tim Blair
Momota Begum puts her selfish priorities ahead of the urgent need to address global warming.
Rudd deceives you yet again
Andrew Bolt
Professor Sinclair Davidson contrasts what Kevin Rudd says his huge emissions taxes will cost against what Treasury told him they’d cost:
Another problem with the Prime Minister’s argument is jobs. Rudd says
Treasury modelling also demonstrates that all major employment sectors grow over the years to 2020 - substantially increasing employment from today’s levels. Treasury modelling also projects that clean industries will create sustainable jobs of the future – in fact by 2050 the renewable electricity sector will be 30 times larger than it is today.
Unfortunately that is not what the Treasury modelling indicates. At page 151 we read,
… real wages are assumed to adjust in the long run to ensure the labour market remains in equilibrium. As output slows slightly in response to emission pricing, firms’ demand for labour also slows slightly. In the short run, real wages are assumed to be sticky, taking up to 10 years to adjust, resulting in some temporary unemployment. However over time, real wage growth slows, demand for labour increases, returning employment to reference case levels …
The Treasury indicates that Australia will experience ‘up to 10 years’ of ‘temporary unemployment’ before real wages decline. Treasury forecasts that real wages might decline by anywhere between 5.4% and 11% relative to the reference case. That is why there is no unemployment; Treasury assume it away by imagining that real wages fall. At the same time, Treasury assume the green jobs and green technology into existence. That is not at all what Rudd told the Lowy Institute.

The CPRS is turning out to be a lot more expensive than first promised.
That is putting it mildly.
Green means never having to be a real reporter
Andrew Bolt
Sunday Age political reporter Melissa Fyfe reports the news, all fair and balanced:
Emergency services workers are not normally the type you’d expect to join the battle against climate change. They are not your stereotypical greenies. They wear uniforms. They are calm, no-nonsense people. But now, in a special project, they are doing something about what they see as the emergency of climate change.

Through the month of November, this blog will follow a group of emergency services workers on a 6000-kilometre journey from one end of Australia to the other.... They are running to raise awareness of climate change...
Actually, Fyfe now helps makes this news she reports on, all fair and balanced:
Sunday Age politics reporter Melissa Fyfe joins their journey, supported by The Age
And her commitment is deeply personal:
The route the runners are taking is loosely based on an award-winning climate change series I did in 2005 with photographer Simon O’Dwyer for The Age.
Is this reporting or, as Andrew Landeryou asks, just barracking? Is this a reporter whose green preaching in the paper can be trusted to be all fair and balanced? While you consider that, listen as Fyfe narrates her moving ”life of the tree”, in which a tree is imagined almost as a sentient being, and contemplate how it was that reporting became so infantilised and bastardised at The Age.
How dare they reward this apologist?
Andrew Bolt
Oliver Kamm is astonished that Sydney University has honored John Pilger wth its Sydney Peace Prize:
Here’s a taster of the inspiration for peace and justice that Pilger provides, from an interview he gave to the Australian Green Left Weekly in 2004:
‘Do you think the anti-war movement should be supporting Iraq’s anti-occupation resistance?
‘Yes, I do. We cannot afford to be choosy. While we abhor and condemn the continuing loss of innocent life in Iraq, we have no choice now but to support the resistance, for if the resistance fails, the “Bush gang” will attack another country. If they succeed, a grievous blow will be suffered by the Bush gang.’
Evidently the Sydney Peace Foundation resolved that it wasn’t going to be choosy either.
The only reason I don’t share Kamm’s astonishment is that I’d noted long ago how this “Peace Prize” tended to go to apologists for terrorists. I’m just immensely sad that a great university should now be staffed with academics so profoundly stupid and morally trivial to hand out such prizes to people so unworthy ... academics who then return to their classes to teach the wide-eyed young.

How is it that many “thinkers” in the modern Left can so easily side with oppression that the Guardian runs even this apologia for the East German to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall:

Since the demise of the GDR, many have come to recognise and regret that the genuine ‘social achievements’ they enjoyed were dismantled: social and gender equality, full employment and lack of existential fears, as well as subsidised rents, public transport, culture and sports facilities.
No, no - mustn’t generalise
Andrew Bolt

The day after Major Nidal Malik Hasan murdered 13 fellow American soldiers. the BBC’s Gavin Lee goes to the killer’s mosque and meets “Duane”:
Duane : I’m not going to condemn him for what he did. I don’t know why he did it. I will not, absolutely not, condemn him for what he had done though. If he had done it for selfish reasons I still will not condemn him. He’s my brother in the end. I will never condemn him.

Gavin Lee : There might be a lot of people shocked to hear you say that.

Duane: Well, that’s the way it is. I don’t speak for the community here but me personally I will not condemn him.

Gavin Lee : What are your thoughts towards those that were victims in this?

Duane : They were, in the end, they were troops who were going to Afghanistan and Iraq to kill Muslims. I honestly have no pity for them. It’s just like the majority of the people that will hear this, after five or six minutes they’ll be shocked, after that they’ll forget about them and go on their day.
Hasan’s attack is the third on US troops this year allegedly by Muslims in America:
Federal prosecutors in September charged two North Carolina men for allegedly conspiring to kill personnel at the U.S. Marine Corps base at Quantico, seeking to attack U.S. forces at home if they could not overseas. In June, Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, an American Muslim convert, allegedly shot and killed one soldier and wounded another at a military recruiting center at Little Rock, Ark., in what he said was retaliation for U.S. counterterrorism policies worldwide.

Also this year, the last of five men was sentenced in April to 33 years in prison for planning to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J., a plot inspired by foreign terrorist groups.
Hasan himself praised suicide bombers, preached hatred of America, urged Muslims to fight the Americans and yelled “God is great” in Arabic as he shot his 42 victims. Yet the denialism of many in the media reaches cartoonish lengths at the Atlantic Wire:

A 39-year-old Army psychiatrist, he appears to have not been motivated by his Muslim religion, his Palestinian heritage (he is American by nationality), or any related political causes.
Save the planet! Rent your clothes
Andrew Bolt
Soon we’ll all be forced to look like op-shop hippies:
Large wardrobes of seldom-used clothes are no longer environmentally acceptable and people should instead rent outfits and accessories, according to the Government’s waste watchdog.

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap) claims that overcoming our obsession with owning goods could be a “secret weapon” in meeting climate change targets. It has called for a fifth of all household spending, £148 billion out of an annual total of £732 billion, to be converted to renting by 2020.

Jeremy Clarkson has a much better idea on how to save the planet while driving your SUV… and growing tomatoes at the back.
But which faith actually breeds best?
Andrew Bolt
Gerard Henderson notes that the ABC would rather not mention the pregnant elephant in the room:
(ABC Lateline’s Leigh Sales interviewed Professor John Beddington, the UK Chief Scientist on population, the environment and related matters. When it came to the question of fertility control, Ms Sales cut to the (familiar) - let’s blame the Christians - chase. She opined to Professor Beddington:
But then…there are issues like, say, for example, the influence of the Pope, the influence of the religious right-wing on birth control programs. How do you get around this?
Professor Beddington responded that the working population of Italy was in decline. Yet Italy is a predominantly Catholic country. What Leigh Sales did not mention was Islam. The fact is that population increase in many Muslim countries is very high. It is known that population growth tends to decline as more females are educated. The fact is that quite a few Muslim countries actually discourage the education of young women.
But you can imagine if poor Leigh had accused Muslims of breeding too fast… Or if not Muslims, then Africans. But, of course, her sensitivity about her image leads to viewers being misled about the very issue she wanted to discuss. Vanity trumps journalism.
Have these alarmists no shame?
Andrew Bolt

Ocean acidification - Hermie the hermit crab from GBRMPA on Vimeo.

Hey, if the adults won’t buy global warming, why don’t we scare their kiddies instead?

And so the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority set to work.
Alarmists with the birds
Andrew Bolt
Just wish such things had been said when the hysteria was at its worst:

Alarming predictions that climate change will lead to the extinction of hundreds of species may be exaggerated, according to Oxford scientists.

They say that many biodiversity forecasts have not taken into account the complexities of the landscape and frequently underestimate the ability of plants and animals to adapt to changes in their environment.

“The evidence of climate change-driven extinctions have really been overplayed,” said Professor Kathy Willis, a long-term ecologist at the University of Oxford and lead author of the article.
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